David N. Bresch: Catalogue data in Spring Semester 2023

Name Prof. Dr. David N. Bresch
Name variantsDavid N. Bresch
David Bresch
David Niklaus Bresch
FieldWeather and Climate Risks
Address
Professur Wetter- und Klimarisiken
ETH Zürich, CHN K 73.2
Universitätstrasse 16
8092 Zürich
SWITZERLAND
Telephone+41 44 632 77 87
E-maildbresch@ethz.ch
URLhttps://wcr.ethz.ch/
DepartmentEnvironmental Systems Science
RelationshipFull Professor

NumberTitleECTSHoursLecturers
363-1114-00LIntroduction to Risk Modelling and Management3 credits2VH. Schernberg, B. J. Bergmann, D. N. Bresch
AbstractThis course is a practical, hands-on introduction to various aspects of modelling, dealing with and managing risks across different industries, contexts and applications.
ObjectiveThe course illustrates what is required of the 21st century’s risk manager. It provides a qualitative and quantitative introduction to some of the various risks that societies and businesses face and to their management.

The course encourages students to think critically about models and mathematical representations of risks. It identifies and explores the current challenges of managing today’s risks given available technologies.

After taking this course, students can formulate a risk analysis problem with quantitative methods in a particular field.
ContentThe course describes the building blocks of risk modelling as well as the process of risk-management. It examines at different approaches to modelling and dealing with as well as mitigating different kind of risks in different industries.

The lectures emphasise the decision-making processes in various businesses and how risk-management relates to a company's value chain. Applications range from enterprise risk management, natural catastrophes, climate risk, energy market risk, risk engineering, financial risks, operational risk, cyber risk and more.

Note that the programme varies every year. Therefore, all aforementioned topics are not necessarily explored every year.

The panel of lecturers comprises risk professionals from various industries and government as well as academics from different disciplines.

The course covers the following areas:

1. Fundamentals of Risk Modelling: Probability, Uncertainty, Vulnerability...
2. Fundamentals of Risk Management and Enterprise Risk Management
3. Risk Modelling and Management across Different Areas, with invited speakers
Lecture notesThe course materials are provided via Moodle. For each session, slides (and in most cases a video recording) are available.
LiteratureAdditional readings will be discussed during the lectures.
Prerequisites / NoticeThe course is opened to students from all backgrounds. Some experience with quantitative disciplines such as probability and statistics, however, is useful.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingassessed
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Negotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered
364-1058-00LRisk Center Seminar Series0 credits2SH. Schernberg, D. Basin, A. Bommier, D. N. Bresch, S. Brusoni, L.‑E. Cederman, P. Cheridito, F. Corman, H. Gersbach, C. Hölscher, K. Paterson, G. Sansavini, B. Stojadinovic, B. Sudret, J. Teichmann, R. Wattenhofer, U. A. Weidmann, S. Wiemer, R. Zenklusen
AbstractIn this series of seminars, invited speakers discuss various topics in the area of risk modelling, governance of complex socio-economic systems, managing risks and crises, and building resilience. Students, PhD students, post-docs, faculty and individuals outside ETH are welcome.
ObjectiveParticipants gain insights in a broad range of risk- and resilience-related topics. They expand their knowledge of the field and deepen their understanding of the complexity of our social, economic and engineered systems. For young researchers in particular, the seminars offer an opportunity to learn academic presentation skills and to network with an interdisciplinary scientific audience.
ContentAcademic presentations from ETH faculty as well as external researchers.
Each seminar is followed by a Q&A session and (when permitted) a networking Apéro.
Lecture notesThe sessions are recorded whenever possible and posted on the ETH Risk Center webpage. If available, presentation slides are shared as well.
LiteratureEach speaker will provide a literature review.
Prerequisites / NoticeIn most cases, a quantitative background is required. Depending on the topic, field-specific knowledge may be required.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesfostered
Techniques and Technologiesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesfostered
Decision-makingfostered
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingfostered
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Customer Orientationfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Negotiationfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingfostered
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection fostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered
651-4095-01LColloquium Atmosphere and Climate 1 Information Restricted registration - show details 1 credit1KH. Wernli, D. N. Bresch, M. Brunner, N. Gruber, H. Joos, R. Knutti, U. Lohmann, C. Schär, S. Schemm, S. I. Seneviratne, M. Wild
AbstractThe colloquium is a series of scientific talks by prominent invited speakers assembling interested students and researchers from around Zürich. Students take part of the scientific discussions.
ObjectiveGet insight into ongoing research in different fields related to atmospheric and climate science
ContentThe colloquium is a series of scientific talks by prominent invited speakers assembling interested students and researchers from around Zürich. Students take part of the scientific discussions.
Prerequisites / NoticeTo acquire credit points for this colloquium, please confirm your attendance of 8 colloquia per semester by using the form which is provided at the course webpage.
651-4095-02LColloquium Atmosphere and Climate 2 Information Restricted registration - show details 1 credit1KH. Wernli, D. N. Bresch, M. Brunner, N. Gruber, H. Joos, R. Knutti, U. Lohmann, C. Schär, S. Schemm, S. I. Seneviratne, M. Wild
AbstractThe colloquium is a series of scientific talks by prominent invited speakers assembling interested students and researchers from around Zürich. Students take part of the scientific discussions.
ObjectiveGet insight into ongoing research in different fields related to atmospheric and climate sciences
Prerequisites / NoticeTo acquire credit points for this colloquium, please confirm your attendance of 8 colloquia per semester by using the form which is provided at the course webpage.
651-4095-03LColloquium Atmosphere and Climate 3 Information Restricted registration - show details 1 credit1KH. Wernli, D. N. Bresch, M. Brunner, N. Gruber, H. Joos, R. Knutti, U. Lohmann, C. Schär, S. Schemm, S. I. Seneviratne, M. Wild
AbstractThe colloquium is a series of scientific talks by prominent invited speakers assembling interested students and researchers from around Zürich. Students take part of the scientific discussions.
ObjectiveGet insight into ongoing research in different fields related to atmospheric and climate sciences
Prerequisites / NoticeTo acquire credit points for this colloquium, please confirm your attendance of 8 colloquia per semester by using the form which is provided at the course webpage.
701-0650-00LRisk Analysis and Management3 credits2GA. Patt, L. Booth, D. N. Bresch
AbstractThis course introduced students to principles of quantitative risk analysis, across a wide variety of environmental areas including weather and climate, natural hazards, and toxic substances. It also introduces them to established practices of risk management, including regulatory approaches, insurance, and contingency planning.
Objective- Competence in applying methods of quantitative risk analysis.
- Understanding of common approaches towards risk management.
- Understanding of the importance of risk and uncertainty in decision- and policy-making.
- Ability to communicate risk information clearly and effectively.
ContentStatistics for risk analysis; Monte Carlo simulation; toxicology and epidemiology; exposure assessment; fault tree analysis; risk in decision-making; risk perception and communication; loss spreading and insurance; mitigating natural hazard losses; risk and climate change policy.
Prerequisites / Noticenone
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Problem-solvingassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationfostered
Personal CompetenciesCreative Thinkingfostered
Critical Thinkingassessed
701-0660-00LPractical Course in Human Environment Systems Restricted registration - show details 7 credits14PJ. W. McCaughey, D. N. Bresch, S. Hanger-Kopp, C. M. Kropf
AbstractThe students develop research projects on climate change adaptation in which they combine and apply quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection and analysis. The students identify political, economically and socially acceptable adaptation measures and thus also evaluate the social and ethical dimensions of climate risk analysis and adaptation.
ObjectiveStudents are able to apply a qualitative and quantitative set of methods to answer an interdisciplinary research question at the intersection of human and environment systems.
ContentAt the core of the Human-Environment Systems Practicum is the question of the technical, economic and social feasibility of measures to adapt to climate change. Strengthening weather and climate resilience in particular is already of eminent importance today - and will continue to increase in the coming decades. The climate of the past is no longer a solid basis for future-oriented decisions due to many changes. Never before have societies had such a broad knowledge of the processes that shape their future and such extensive data - including climate projections. However, we are still at the beginning when it comes to the extensive use of this information in planning and decision-making processes. Central questions for decision-makers and society are therefore: 1) What is the possible influence of weather and climate today and in the coming decades? 2) How can we deal with these opportunities / risks with foresight, and what measures are available? 3) What investments are necessary - do the benefits outweigh the costs? 4) Do the risks fall disproportionately on certain groups, especially those who may already be disadvantaged, and do the adaptation measures reduce this inequality? For an interdisciplinary understanding of these questions, relevant qualitative and quantitative methods, their connection and critical discussion are learned in the internship. These methods include the Economics of Climade Adaptation (ECA, https://wcr.ethz.ch/research/casestudies.html) a probabilistic risk model with open source code (CLIMADA, https://wcr.ethz.ch/forschung/climada .html), Multi-Criteria Analysis (MCA), and qualitative and quantitative methods to identify socially vulnerable groups. The students choose and combine qualitative and quantitative methods in such a way that they are best suited to their research questions. This methodology provides a framework for the assessment of climate risk and the assessment of adaptation options together with decision-makers and society, taking into account various possible socio-economic development paths and climate scenarios. Through this exercise and the comparison of the scenarios, the students get to know connections and interactions, and also to take into account social framework conditions in the modeling. The students critically reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of such assessments, especially with regard to values, ethics and social justice. The students will describe and critically discuss the entire process in a professional project report.
LiteratureReferences will be given during the course.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingassessed
Project Managementassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityfostered
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered
701-1252-00LClimate Change Uncertainty and Risk: From Probabilistic Forecasts to Economics of Climate Adaptation Restricted registration - show details 3 credits2V + 1UD. N. Bresch, R. Knutti
AbstractThe course introduces the concepts of predictability, probability, uncertainty and probabilistic risk modelling and their application to climate modeling and the economics of climate adaptation.
ObjectiveStudents will acquire knowledge in uncertainty and risk quantification (probabilistic modelling) and an understanding of the economics of climate adaptation. They will become able to construct their own uncertainty and risk assessment models (in Python), hence basic understanding of scientific programming forms a prerequisite of the course.
ContentThe first part of the course covers methods to quantify uncertainty in detecting and attributing human influence on climate change and to generate probabilistic climate change projections on global to regional scales. Model evaluation, calibration and structural error are discussed. In the second part, quantification of risks associated with local climate impacts and the economics of different baskets of climate adaptation options are assessed – leading to informed decisions to optimally allocate resources. Such pre-emptive risk management allows evaluating a mix of prevention, preparation, response, recovery, and (financial) risk transfer actions, resulting in an optimal balance of public and private contributions to risk management, aiming at a more resilient society.
The course provides an introduction to the following themes:
1) basics of probabilistic modelling and quantification of uncertainty from global climate change to local impacts of extreme events
2) methods to optimize and constrain model parameters using observations
3) risk management from identification (perception) and understanding (assessment, modelling) to actions (prevention, preparation, response, recovery, risk transfer)
4) basics of economic evaluation, economic decision making in the presence of climate risks and pre-emptive risk management to optimally allocate resources
Lecture notesPowerpoint slides will be made available.
LiteratureMany papers for in-depth study will be referred to during the lecture. For the exercises the CLIMADA platform- https://wcr.ethz.ch/research/climada.html - will be (extensively) used.
Prerequisites / NoticeHands-on experience with probabilistic climate models and risk models will be acquired in the tutorials; hence good understanding of scientific programming forms a prerequisite of the course, in Python (teaching language, object oriented) or similar. Basic understanding of the climate system, e.g. as covered in the course 'Klimasysteme' is required.

Examination: graded tutorials during the semester (benotete Semesterleistung)
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesassessed
Techniques and Technologiesassessed
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesassessed
Decision-makingfostered
Media and Digital Technologiesfostered
Problem-solvingassessed
Project Managementfostered
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityfostered
Self-presentation and Social Influence fostered
Sensitivity to Diversityfostered
Personal CompetenciesAdaptability and Flexibilityassessed
Creative Thinkingassessed
Critical Thinkingassessed
Integrity and Work Ethicsfostered
Self-direction and Self-management fostered
743-0001-00LCAS in Climate Innovation Restricted registration - show details 10 credits11GC. Rapo, D. N. Bresch, N. Gruber
AbstractWorking with real-​world case studies, the Climate Innovation programme empowers climate leaders with the necessary skills and knowledge to support and lead the transition towards net zero emissions.
ObjectiveMitigation of and adaptation to climate change requires fast and deeply transformative changes of our socio-​economic-environmental systems towards net zero emissions.
The goal of the Climate Innovation programme is to equip future climate leaders with the adequate skills and knowledge to 1) lead this transition, 2) navigate uncertainty and complexity, and 3) develop impactful solutions in interdisciplinary teams.
A collective intelligence will be created around three pillars of this programme, namely system knowledge, transformational learning experience, and network activation, with an emphasis on dialogue and exchange.
Prerequisites / NoticeMaster's degree acknowledged by ETH or equivalent educational qualifications, preferably in science or humanities, with a background in natural sciences, engineering, architecture or business.
The Climate Innovation programme is aimed at professionals (3 years +) from business, industry, the public sector and non-governmental organisations who deal with complex problems related to climate change.
CompetenciesCompetencies
Subject-specific CompetenciesConcepts and Theoriesfostered
Techniques and Technologiesfostered
Method-specific CompetenciesAnalytical Competenciesfostered
Problem-solvingassessed
Social CompetenciesCommunicationassessed
Cooperation and Teamworkfostered
Leadership and Responsibilityassessed
Personal CompetenciesCritical Thinkingfostered
Self-awareness and Self-reflection assessed